Book Reviews by Bill Brantley, KM Review Articles by Bill Ives, CoP Core Teams

01-Feb-07 Archive of Weekly KM Blog by Stan Garfield

KM Books

Book Reviews by Bill Brantley on “Signs of the emerging knowledge economy”

1. Part One: Revolutionary Wealth by Alvin and Heidi Toffler

2. Part Two: The Origin of Wealth by Eric Beinhocker

2a. Part 2.5:

  • Hard Facts: Dangerous Half-Truths and Total Nonsense by Jerry Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton
  • Heads Up: How to Anticipate Business Surprises and Seize Opportunities First by Kenneth G. McGee
  • Change without Pain: How Managers Can Overcome Initiative Overload, Organizational Chaos, and Employee Burnout by Eric Abrahamson

3. Part Three: The Wealth of Networks by Yochai Benkler

4. Part Four: Final Thoughts

5. Reading List for the Emerging Knowledge Economy

6. 408 pages to arrive at the obvious

KM Links

KM Review Articles and Book Reviews by Bill Ives


  • Using Blogs for Personal KM and Community Building - Blogs are the next “big idea” in the business press, receiving plaudits from Fortune, Business Week and in recent months, Harvard Business Review. But what do blogs offer KM specialists? Here William Ives and Amanda Watlington discuss how blogs can aid communities of practice, collaboration and team learning.
  • Frontline blogging and KM at The Advocacy Project - describes a KM initiative using blogs to better connect human rights groups in the field.
  • New tools to link the changing workforce: Engaging generations with Web logs and social networking - There’s no avoiding it. The mass retirement of baby boomers, today’s largest workforce, is looming. And to properly estimate the challenges this unique demographic poses, we need to understand the characteristics of each current workforce generation, the nature of work and knowledge transfer in today’s economy, and the new collaborative tools available to meet these challenges.
  • Building a foundation for innovation at Sainsbury’s - In 2000, Sainsbury’s launched a business transformation program to move the supermarket chain toward a “faster, simpler, and together” approach to customer service. In this article, a team from Sainsbury’s and Accenture describe how Sainsbury’s has used knowledge management and a new portal, Connect, to reduce the time to market for new products, help employees discover new possibilities for collaboration, and allow staff to respond more flexibly to customer needs.
  • Mastering enterprise knowledge management - Although grassroots efforts are popular these days for KM because of shrinking budgets and competing priorities, many organizations are realizing the benefits of cross-company KM efforts. These are far easier said than done, however. Here, Kasper De Boer and William Ives explain how to get the most out of taking your KM efforts global.
  • Realizing the promise of portals - Companies have long looked for ways to increase the amount and quality of information flow to improve employee performance. Certain technologies, including intranets and portals, have enabled that flow. But the concept of workspace portals takes the idea of an interface one step further — that is using workspace portals to bring about workforce transformation. Here, Peter Cheese and William Ives explain the possibilities and give you a concrete plan for how to derive value from portals and improve employee decision — making. Includes a sample workspace portal for a call center and a diagram of a framework for implementing portals.


  • Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking - Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book, Blink, may change the way we think about decisions.
  • The Executive’s Role in Knowledge Management - Carla O’Dell has been a leader in knowledge management throughout its life cycle and I have enjoyed her previous books. This book continues her practice of writing extremely useful practical guides. In this case the primary intended readers are senior managers who want their investments in knowledge management to be successful and provide real business value.
  • Lost Knowledge: Confronting the Threat of an Aging Workforce - David DeLong makes an impressive case for the high cost of losing intellectual capital in his new book. Thankfully, he follows it with a comprehensive set of chapters on how to design, evaluate and implement an array of knowledge retention strategies.
  • What’s the Big Idea? Creating and Capitalizing on the Best of Management Thinking - This latest book by Tom Davenport and Larry Prusak provides some very practical advice and useful case examples on putting ideas to work. The central theme is the symbiotic relationship of the gurus, who generate ideas, and the idea practitioners, who enable sustained business impact from ideas.

KM Questions

Q: Each of our communities of practice (CoPs) has a core team, and this team basically performs governance for the CoP site. Would you say this is a standard practice?

A: The idea of a core team for a CoP is common. It’s for governing the community, responding to queries in the threaded discussions, and posting shareable material. The core team can also manage a CoP web site, although this is usually done by a single content owner, sometimes with the help of several subject-matter experts for sub-topics.

A core team usually includes thought leaders in the community’s specialty who have the passion, time, and energy to help lead, build, and sustain the CoP. The core team may also include representation from diverse organizations, regions, and sub-topics.

For more information, see Evolving communities of practice: IBM Global Services experience by Patricia Gongla and Christine R. Rizzuto.

Written by

Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager

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